Gingerbread cookies are one of the classic Christmas desserts and even the scent of them often evokes memories of childhood gingerbread house making and tree decorating.
Healthy Gingerbread Cookies?
I’ve never been much of a cookie-maker, but this year, the kids requested gingerbread cookies after visiting friends and making gingerbread houses. Since I was trying to find a way to incorporate molasses and dates (for a shorter labor) into my daily diet, the idea of gingerbread cookies sounded a lot better than taking molasses or dates on their own, so I started experimenting with a grain-free, high-protein spiced molasses and date gingerbread cookie recipe.
After several failed attempts, I’m happy with these fragrant and delicious cookies that are free of any refined sweeteners and packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. Not only do they taste delicious, but I don’t mind letting the kids have them (or eating them myself) because of the benefits of their ingredients:
- Molasses- a great natural source of Iron, b-vitamins, magnesium, and copper. It has many beneficial properties and is often recommended to help battle anemia, for improved digestion, to reverse gray hair and as a low-calorie sweetener.
- Dates– a fruit that is often eaten alone or used as a natural sweetener. Dates are said to be anti-inflammatory and are often suggested for heart health, healthy blood pressure and brain health. When I recently found a study that consuming dates regularly could shorten labor, I decided to give them a try, especially since my past labors have been 24+ hours long.
- Almond Flour– High in protein, filling and nourishing.
- Cinnamon– A little spice with a lot of benefits, cinnamon has immune-boosting and infection-fighting properties and is often used to help regulate blood sugar and for its delicious taste.
Of course, no cookie is great for daily consumption, although I’d say these are as close as they come. We had a great time making these for Christmas and I’ll be making a few more batches to help get my molasses and dates in before this baby comes. They aren’t overly sweet, but if you aren’t used to a lot of processed desserts, they have the perfect balance of sweet and spice.
If gingerbread cookies are part of your family tradition for the holidays but you want a way to give them a boost of protein and nutrients, I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe!
Gingerbread Cookies Recipe With Dates & Molasses
Yield 24 +
Homemade healthy gingerbread cookies with molasses, dates, almond flour and coconut flour are nutrient-dense and packed with beneficial properties.
- 3.5 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- pinch each of cloves and nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 12 pitted dates
- 1/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
- 1/3 cup organic blackstrap molasses
- Coconut sugar or other sugar for rolling cookies, optional
- Place the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and coconut flour in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- In a blender, blend the eggs, melted butter, dates and almond or coconut milk.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Dough should be thick enough to form balls, but not quite as thick as playdough.
- Since almond flours and coconut flours vary a lot, you may need to add an extra 1/2 cup almond flour or 1 tablespoon coconut flour to get the correct consistency. If dough is too thick, add 1 tablespoon almond or coconut milk at a time to get desired texture.
- Place dough in fridge for at least 15 minutes to let harden slightly, as this will make it easier to form for baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls carefully. If using sugar, roll the dough in a light coating of sugar for texture and to help prevent sticking.
- Place dough on a lined (with silicone or parchment paper) baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Halfway through baking, remove from oven and make marks with a fork, if desired. This step is completely optional but creates the look of traditional molasses cookies.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing from baking sheet.
These cookies will be stickier than regular gingerbread cookies and are not ideal for using cookie cutters or making gingerbread houses, as they do not have the gluten which is in regular flour to help hold them together. As there can be a difference between different types of almond or coconut flour and even between types of dates and molasses, you may have to adjust ingredients up or down slightly to get the correct consistency. When cookies are done cooking, they should still be semi-soft to the touch but starting to harden around the edges.
Were gingerbread cookies a part of your childhood?